NFL criticized for unequal punishments for Ronnie Harrison, Greg Lewis

Cleveland Browns NFL safety Ronnie Harrison Jr.
Cleveland Browns NFL safety Ronnie Harrison Jr. /

Last Sunday, the Cleveland Browns and K.C. Chiefs had a first quarter altercation featuring a coach shoving a player. Shortly after the incident, only the player, Browns safety Ronnie Harrison, was ejected after his disqualification. As it turns out, the NFL also decided to only fine Harrison as well.

On Saturday, NFL reporter Tom Pelissero broke the news of the league’s investigation into the incident in which Chiefs running backs coach Greg Lewis shoved Harrison only to have Harrison shove him back. Harrison’s actions were the more forceful of the two and the one best caught on camera at the time, which drew the eyes of those in power. Harrison was sent packing for the rest of the game while Lewis was able to remain.

At the time, Harrison was also believed to have potentially stepped on Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire when he was on the ground but that was not so. Perhaps Lewis was responding to that to get him off. Whatever the case, the NFL levied out its punishments in the matter and gave Lewis a warning against similar incidents in the future while finding Harrison over $12K.

the NFL decided to levy different punishments for Chiefs coach Greg Lewis and Browns safety Ronnie Harrison.

The only real action from the NFL on Lewis’s part was to send a league-wide memo to remind coaches to behave themselves on the sidelines.

Pelissero did note that the league did not believe the sides were equal. Whatever evidence they found in Lewis’s corner clearly kept him from having his wallet affected. Still, that didn’t stop the criticism coming from writers such as Mary Kay Cabot and others on social media wondering why the NFL would differentiate here—especially when the player was already punished.